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Back to Basics, Part 2


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Week 2, Day 4:  I had an extremely busy day at work and couldn't find any time to run over the lunch hour.  I did make it to my stretch session and rings class, though.  I'm still really weak, but getting a bit stronger.  Before stretching, I managed to do a few strict pull-ups:  3 sets of 2.  That's all I could hit.  My coach was a bit worried, so we toned down the workout.  It still didn't go very well.  Obviously, I can't hit a single ring muscle up in this condition, much less any of the false grip chin-ups.  It was a pretty depressing day.

My coach suggested that I might be old enough that workout recovery is becoming a problem.  I think he might be right (to wit:  I'm 44 years old).  Other than a multivitamin and the occasional Rx (protein) bar, I don't take supplements.  He suggested that maybe I need to start.  He referred me to another guy, who talked to me about a lot of different options.  I'm absolutely not interested in stimulants (herbal or otherwise), NO-explode type stuff, or any other bro-style bodybuilding products.  We agreed that the best way to go about this is to add things slowly.

I am going to start with two products:  fish oil (to prevent inflammation), and a recovery drink to sip on during workouts that contains mostly aminos and some B-vitamins.

Dinner tonight was homemade fish tacos, with salad and rice.  Snacked on crackers and dried fruit after that.

- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 2, Day 5:  Still getting stronger.  I did the CrossFit metcon today, which was mostly shoulder work.  That part went fine.  After CrossFit, I went back to pull-ups.  I found that I can hit kipping pull-ups without too much problem.  In regards to strict, I hit 5 sets of 3 strict pull-ups, followed by 5 sets of 3 strict chin-ups.  It's certainly better than yesterday and a huge improvement over Wednesday, but it's still very low.  In the evaluation process, I noticed that I can't hit a single chest-to-bar, kipping or otherwise, nor can I hit a kipping ring muscle up.  Will need to watch this over the next week.

Also - I started taking the workout drink today.  For the record, it tastes terrible.  =(

Dinner tonight was date night:  we went out for a hot pot variant called Shabu Shabu.  I think it's a Japanese thing.  After getting back, I looked in the mirror and noticed that my lats are less than half their normal size.  That's frightening.  Then I stepped on the scale.  I'm down to 162 lbs.  That means I lost between 6-8 lbs after finishing the Murph.  Ouch.  It's quite possible that the combination of the workout and a week of rest did this.  (Keep in mind:  I am the person who LOST WEIGHT over Thanksgiving break, even though all I did was sit on my butt and eat everything in sight).  Will need to keep an eye on the scale for the next few weeks.

Workout:

A.  Push Jerk (loosely based on 175 lbs max)
2 x 88% (150 lbs)
2 x 90% (155 lbs)
1 x 92% (160 lbs), 2 sets
1 x 95% (165 lbs), 3 sets

 

B.  AMRAP 20 (max based on 165 lbs)
1 T2B
2 Push Press 70% (115 lbs)
2 T2B
4 Push Press
Etc...
Every 4 min, run 400m.  Start with run.

 

I got 6 + 15, Rx.

C.  Strict Pull Ups

3 reps, 5 sets

 

D.  Strict Chin Ups

3 reps, 5 sets

- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Week 2, Day 6:  I had a core and flexibility class today, followed by a stretch session.  I started off with some low lat pulls, just to warm everything up.  I think they went OK - I haven't done this lift for about 4+ years.  I was able to hit 120 lbs for three sets of 8, 135 lbs for three sets of 5, and 150 lbs for three sets of 3.  During the breaks, I did strict pull ups.  I hit two sets of 4, one set of 5, and one set of 6.  Definitely getting better.

 

After getting back from the gym, my gf and I went for a bike ride.  This is the first time I've ridden a bike in almost 12 years.  It was magical.  I really missed it.  Will need to do this more often.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Update:  So I was almost done adding a huge update here and I accidentally hovered over a hyperlink in the text and hit backspace.  My browser followed the link and I lost the whole damn post.  I don't have another hour to hunt down all of my links and numbers and re-create the data.  So here's the short version.

I'm not happy with my current weight.  It's far too low compared to the 170 lbs that I normally compete at.  So I have decided to start a bulking cycle.  This isn't a decision that I make lightly.  I haven't done one of these in about two years.  The last time I tried bulking I was utterly miserable.  I was full to bursting every day, and I had terrible heartburn at night.  From experience, I have found that in order for me to gain weight (slowly), I need to eat AT LEAST 4000+ calories a day, and I need to lift HARD while I'm doing it.  This is a difficult number for me to hit, especially because I can't do it by eating donuts and fries.  That being said, I have learned some tricks.  I can add a lot of calories by adding juice to dinner at night (~400 cals), protein shakes during the day (~160 cals), and real butter (100 cals per tbsp). 

 

I have a plan that I will start following on Monday.  I had everything all typed out with links to verify the numbers before I lost the original post.  The short version is here, without the links.  I can add them later, by request.  For now, you'll have to trust that I looked this stuff up and the numbers are real.

Breakfast:  1 frozen breakfast burrito (300+ cals, depending on which one), 2 Chobani yogurts (240 cals), and a protein shake (160 cals) = 700+ cals.

Lunch:  Varies.  Example is 6" sub roll (190 cals), 6 oz chicken (275 cals), 2 slices cheese (200 cals), lettuce, tomato, mustard (free), 1 orange (70 cals) = 735 cals.

Snack:  2 scrambled eggs (160 cals), 2 slices of whole wheat toast (140 cals), cheese (100 cals), 2 tbsp butter (200 cals) = 600 cals

Dinner:  Varies.  Example is  8 oz grilled salmon (475 cals), 8 asparagus spears (25 cals), half package of rice & quinoa mix (240 cals), half bottle of juice (385 cals) = 1125 cals

Snack:  Varies.  Example is half a box of low salt triscuit crackers (540 calories), 4 oz almonds (500 cals) = 1040 calories.
                                      (I also sometimes eat walnuts (175 cals per oz) or dried fruit (100 cals per oz)

Some notes:  I haven't included any cooking oil I might use, or the fact that I drink several cups of coffee each day with half-and-half in them (20 cals per tsp), or that my workout supplement has 45 calories in it.  Sometimes I substitute other fruit for the orange at lunch, or I might have a salad instead where most of the calories come from dressing and the avocado I put in there.  Assuming an average of 1000 calories for dinner and for my last snack, I get these totals:

Totals:  700 + 735 + 600 + 1000 + 1000 = 4035 cals.

Ugh.  Wish me luck.   =P

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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Looks like you have a well thought out plan. I know that sometimes people  put oil in their smoothies to add calories.

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Wisdom- 13.5 Dexterity- 10 Charisma- 11 Strength- 12 Constitution-10 

Elastigirl Just Living Life - January 3 to February 6 New Year Challenge! - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"The chief goal of living is not to merely stay alive" Mike Rowe

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Good luck with the bulk! You have a solid plan to tackle it safely, and you know your body and what you can handle. Hopefully this one will be better for you than the last one!

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Level 4, Amazon Ranger

Current Challenge:  NicBot-5000 enters Recovery Mode

Previous Challenges: 12, 3,  4, 5, 6

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Week 3, Day 1:  First official day of my bulk, and quite predictably, I feel awful.  But if I didn't hit 4000 calories, I came pretty damn close.  I'm using a food scale to make sure that I'm being honest.  The issue is that I got my last few calories from a homemade peanut butter cookie (ingredients:  peanut butter, sugar, eggs), and I'm not confident about exactly how much that adds.  I'm guessing 150.  The bottom line is, it's really just water under the bridge since the most important thing is the end result.  I have started weighing in every morning, and I'll post the results at the bottom along with my workouts.

 

I went to CrossFit today and had a deceptively difficult workout.  The deadlifts at 185 lbs in the metcon don't sound like much, but the volume adds up really quickly.  After the metcon, I decided to try (kipping) bar muscle ups.  It's like my body forgot how to do them.  After about 5 minutes of attempts, I managed to hit one, so I just kept on going and accumulated 8 singles on a 1 minute interval.  This is definitely a big improvement from last week, when I couldn't even do chest-to-bar pullups.  I'm still not at 100%, but now I'm getting close.  I plan to try strict pull ups again tomorrow and (kipping) ring muscle ups on Wednesday.

I'm not going to bother listing out all of the food I ate today.  Mostly because I don't want to think about it.  =S  Workout and body weight are below.

Workout:

A.  Power Snatch (based on 125 lb max)
2 x 90 (110 lbs), 2 sets
1 x 93% (115 lbs), 2 sets
1 x 95% (120 lbs), 2 sets
1 x 98% (122.5 lbs), 2 sets

 

B.  For Time
21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Deadlift 185 lbs/ 135 lbs 
Bike Cals
(Or Row 35-30-25-20-15-10-5)

 

I got 14:21, Rx.  Rowed because all bikes taken.

 

C.  Kipping bar MU Singles
8 reps on 1 min interval.  (All were good reps)
Last 2 reps weren't as good, last one was chicken wing.

 

D.  Bench press
5 x 5 at 135 lbs

 

E.  Back Squat (no belt)
5 x 135, 155, 175 lbs
5 x 185 lbs, 2 sets

Today's Weight:

163.0 lbs, 10.9% bodyfat*

 

*Note:  electronic bodyfat measurements are notoriously bad.  I'm well aware that this is not an an accurate absolute number.  However, it may be a good relative number, assuming that I'm not dehydrated.  That is, I'm probably not sitting at 11% bodyfat, but if the number hits 13% next week, it's pretty safe to say that my actual bodyfat percentage changed by 2.0%.  For anyone interested in getting an absolute number, I'd recommend either a DEXA scan or look in the mirror and compare to a list of reference pictures or sketches.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

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It sounds like you have a good plan and you know what you need to do.  Keep up the good work, you can do it!

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  Level 44 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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On 6/9/2019 at 6:41 PM, Elastigirl said:

Looks like you have a well thought out plan. I know that sometimes people  put oil in their smoothies to add calories.

 

On 6/9/2019 at 9:29 PM, NicTheRugger said:

Good luck with the bulk! You have a solid plan to tackle it safely, and you know your body and what you can handle. Hopefully this one will be better for you than the last one!

 

13 hours ago, Cheetah said:

It sounds like you have a good plan and you know what you need to do.  Keep up the good work, you can do it!


Thank you both for your encouragement.  I really appreciate the comments.   =)

- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

Battle Log

 

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Week 3, Day 2:  Still eating lots of food. Still feel awful.  I'm guessing I was a bit closer to 3400 calories today.  I had a bad computer crash at work and somehow managed to get the blue screen of death on a Windows 10 machine... something that hasn't happened to me in over a decade.  It took a while for the IT guys and I to sort out the mess, and in the process I missed my afternoon snack.  I tried to make up for it in the evening, but the volume was just too much.  Anyhoo, weigh is slowly going up (and surprisingly, bodyfat is not... yet...), so things seem to be going quite well.

I showed up at the gym an hour early today.  I did strict handstand pushup sets, which didn't go well (probably because I benched yesterday and my shoulders were shot).  After that, I moved to strict pull-ups.  I managed to hit a set of 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, which is a marginal improvement over last Saturday.  I followed this up with my usual Tuesday night handstand class.

I talked to the coach after the workout - he's the one who has been working on a supplement plan for me.  Given that I'm tolerating the pre-workout pretty well, we decided to try adding a post-workout recovery drink.  It's this one.  Unlike the pre-workout, the mango flavor is actually pretty good.  But then things got interesting.  Maybe it was just my imagination, but I was wide awake after taking it, and it lasted for hours.  I just read the ingredients again this morning, and it turns out that there's powered black tea leaves in there...  I probably got a jolt of caffeine.  Interesting.

Today's Weight:

163.8 lbs.  10.9% bodyfat. 
Change:  +0.8 lbs.  No bodyfat change*.

* It is important to point out that electronic bodyfat measurements are notoriously inaccurate, and can depend heavily on your hydration state.  Don't read too much into this.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

Battle Log

 

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7 hours ago, Cardinal_22 said:

Don't read too much into this.

 

That's what I was going to say.  Water weight can zoom up and down quickly, but actual body fat change takes time, just like muscle growth or anything else.

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  Level 44 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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Week 3, Day 3:  Not sure how long I can stick with this bulking cycle.  It really hurts. That being said, I'm pretty sure I was close to 4000 today.  Maybe ~3800 cals.  Unlike yesterday, I didn't miss any meals.  Snacking after dinner was lighter than usual, but we had steaks in the evening and that probably made up for it.

 

I went to CrossFit today.  I spent the first hour trying to hit ring muscle ups.  Sadly I couldn't get any, kipping or otherwise.  I can easily pull the rings to my chest, but the transition to the dip is going very badly.  It makes me think my triceps are still a bit weak (maybe from the push-ups in the Murph and bench press on Monday?).  To address this, I spent some time before the metcon doing weighted dips and skull crushers to work out all of the kinks.  Interestingly, my right elbow feels very stiff when doing tricep work.  I will try to stretch it out tomorrow.

The metcon today was in two parts, the second of which was all legs.  The biggest focus was pistol squats and they went quite well, so there was a bright spot in all of this.  Workout and weigh-in is listed below.

Workout:

A.  Skull Crushers

5 x 55 lbs, 3 sets

5 x 65 lbs, 1 set

5 x 75 lbs, 1 set

 

B.  Weighted Dips

5 x bodyweight, 18 lbs, 26 lbs, 35 lbs

 

C.  (Crossfit)

2 Rounds of each of the following at 5 min on / 2 min rest  (total of 20 min work)

 

C1:  bike calories (2 min)

thrusters at 45 lbs (2 min)

kipping pull ups (1 min)

 

C2:  double unders (1 min)

wall balls at 10 lbs (2 min)

KB swings at 35 lbs (2 min)

 

D:  Metcon

12 min AMRAP

4 wall walks

8 burpee box jumps

12 / leg pistol squats

 

I got 1 + 16, Rx.  

 

Today's Weight:

164.7 lbs, 10.8% bodyfat.

Change:  +0.9 lbs,  -0.1%.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

Battle Log

 

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Week 3, Day 4:  As bad as it makes me feel physically, this bulking cycle seems to be going spectacularly well.  The results to date have been far beyond my expectations.  Maybe this is because I'm not breaking any new ground, but instead just returning to where I was?  It could also be that I'm putting on water weight.  At any rate, I'm pretty happy with the results so far (spoiler:  I've already weighed in for Day 5... I always do this in the morning before eating anything).  If things continue at this rate, I might be done bulking by the end of the challenge.

I had a long 2.5 hour seminar during the day today, and that caused me to miss one of my meals.  But I partially made up for it by going out for dinner.  I had pasta with meatballs in what was supposed to be a Bolognese (meat) sauce.  But there was far too much cream and cheese in the sauce to be pure Bolognese.  That being said, when I hear "cream" and "cheese" I think "calories up".  And it certainly didn't disappoint in that regard.  I'll guess that I hit about 3500 for the day.

 

Today's workout was utterly brutal.  I had my 30 minute stretch session followed by a particularly hard rings class.  We worked on handstand pushups (on the rings!) as well as a number of other exercises for volume including ring dips and inverted pull ups.  To say I feel shot after that workout is an understatement.  On another positive note, I almost got (kipping) ring muscle ups back.  I was close enough that a tiny push from my coach sent me flying over the top.  I'm really hoping to have these back on Monday.

Today's Weight:

165.8 lbs, 10.7% bodyfat.

Change:  +1.1 lbs, -0.1% bodyfat.

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- Level 3 Night Elf Warrior -

6'0" / 166 lbs.  Powerlifting Total:  940

Member:  The 800 Club

Battle Log

 

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Sounds like a good workout!  Keep up the good work!

  Level 44 Quasi-Human Ranger     

"Forget failure.  Forget mistakes.  Forget everything except what you're going to do NOW, and DO IT." - Lou Ferrigno

"Foxes Never Quit!"  -  Leicester City FC

KBO. - Churchill

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